I’m always in pursuit of glowing skin. I love the radiance that comes post-workout; I can regularly be counted on to roll the boyfriend over for hours of coital bliss (I love the rosy flush to the face afterward); and I’m a bit obsessed with facial oils and eating right, both of which make my skin beam.
However, this past winter sucked the light right out of me. Even with all of the above strategies employed, I seemed to have a deathly pallor. I tried exfoliating and using heavy moisturizers in tandem with facial oils, but it wasn’t until someone handed me a bottle of luminizer that I discovered what women have known for years: sometimes you have to fake it.
Luminizer. How did I ever live without it? It’s like traveling with your own personal lighting crew. It’s like stepping in front of a lens smeared with Vaseline. It’s the smoke and mirrors of makeup and it’s my favorite thing ever.
The Luminizers I Use
I keep a stockpile of luminizers on hand, with a few tried and tested favorites heavy in the rotation: NARS Illuminator, Benefit Cosmetics High Beam Luminescent Complexion Enhancer, Make Up For Ever Uplight Face Luminizer Gel (amazing if you have oily skin), and Stila All Over Shimmer Liquid Luminizer.
You’ll also notice an eye shadow in the mix, Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo 24-Hour Eye Shadow in Too Cool. You can use pearlescent shadows as well, and they’re just as effective mixed in with foundation or tinted moisturizer.
How To Apply Luminizer On Your Face
The first thing you want to do is to apply a moisturizer to your face. Use gel if you have oily skin, cream if you’re dry like me. If your skin is a little uneven or your makeup tends to slide, follow this up with a primer. You can also use a foundation with a primer in it.
The easiest way to get a gentle, all-over glow with luminizer is to mix a dot of it in with your favorite foundation or tinted moisturizer.
Blend the foundation/luminizer on the back of your hand and apply wherever skin needs a lift--your brow bones, the corners of your eyes, onto your cheekbones in a “3” shape, down the center of your nose, or on your Cupid’s bow. I advise using the MAC Cosmetics #190 Foundation Brush for that last move--it’s magic. You can also just dot the luminizer over or under your tinted moisturizer or foundation if you prefer not to pre-blend.
Just a note of warning for those with oily skin: never add luminizer to your T-zone--it’ll make your face look shinier. Instead, focus on highlighting the area around your eyes.
Quick And Sexy Tips For Your Décolleté, Shoulders & More
At night, I’m a big fan of a little luminizer on the Cupid’s bow over lipstick. The guy I’m dating hates lipstick, but he seems to have a strange attraction to kissing me when I pull out this trick. It’s like a homing beacon over my mouth. It’s not really for him, though. I love the way lipstick has a burlesque look when there’s a great matte color with that tiny spotlight of luminizer over it. It’s my way of channeling Dita Von Teese (minus the fancy underpinnings).
The other thing I love to do with luminizer is mix it with body lotion and place it in strategic locations, like down my shins. A bit on the tops of my shoulders is magical in a strapless dress--or lingerie. I’m also a big fan of dabbing some on my décolleté if I’m wearing a low-cut top. Run a little luminizer over the swell of the breasts and do a quick swipe of bronzer down the center. I tried that running errands one weekend and had a BLAST. It turned a men’s white V-neck shirt into a ball gown. I highly recommend it.
Please experiment with this magical fairy elixir we call luminizer. Any particular ones you’ve tried and liked? Application tips and tricks? Go on… shed some light on the topic in the comments!